What to Check When The Freezer Works But the Refrigerator Doesn’t


For most people, their refrigerator is both a refrigerator and a freezer, the two in one combination is handy, but can lead to a unique problem where one section is the proper temperature but not the other. One of the many ways your refrigerator and freezer can malfunction is that you find the freezer works as designed, but the fresh food section is practically balmy. When this happens, you need to know what to investigate so you can get the problem fixed up both quickly and correctly. However, in many cases, there is not such a serious problem at all.

What you need to keep in mind when your appliance manifests these problems is that refrigerators don’t produce cold air for the fresh food section. Instead, cold air is produced for the freezer section, then some of that cold air is pumped into the fresh food section. This can help you get a firm idea of what needs to be checked.

Check the Temperature

This should always be the first thing you check. Sometimes the temperature dial in the refrigerator can get bumped and it leads to undercooling. Make sure your refrigerator is set to an appropriate temperature.

Blocked Vent

Clear vents are crucial to proper cooling. You will need to check not only the vent in your refrigerator but the vent in your freezer as well. If there are food items blocking either of these vents, then you will simply need to clear them. Air circulation is important for proper cooling and even one partially blocked vent can cause a huge problem.

The Damper

The damper is a flap that opens and closes as needed. It allows the cool air to be released into the fresh food compartment from the freezer. If you are having a problem, it could be that the damper is not functioning or is otherwise stuck.

Defrost Issue

The defrost cycle could also be causing this issue but various components contribute to a defrost system in any refrigerator and at this point, we recommend reaching out to a professional to take a look.


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